ShortBox logo and header by Ryan Cecil-Smith
What is ShortBox?
I've been thinking of starting a comics box for over a year. Like many people, I love the excitement and anticipation of getting a package in the post -and when that package contains comics, it's happiness squared. Despite there being a variety of 'boxes' and subscriptions available, none featured the comics that would get me interested enough to sign up: the self-published, small press and independent comics that continue to invigorate the medium and keep me passionately invested. What I wanted was a quarterly comics box heavy on the comics (no T-shirts, key-rings, Funko Pops) that allowed me to see exactly what I was getting for my money, with the option to also include one or two special items from exciting artists both within and beyond the field. So I decided to finally bite the bullet and create exactly that. My friend, Clark Burscough (who some of you may know as assistant director of Thought Bubble), had been thinking of something along similar lines, and thus ShortBox was created.
Intrinsically, ShortBox is an extension of Comics & Cola's sensibilities in bringing together excellent and interesting comics from around the world. It feels like a natural extension to go from spotlighting and recommending that work, to putting it directly into people's hands. Simply put, ShortBox is a carefully curated selection of comics and art goodness from a range of international contemporary cartoonists and artists.
This first box we've created is essentially a beta, and therefore unique and limited in quantity. This is because the nature of a beta is such that going forward the shape the box takes may change, depending upon the response and feedback we receive, and as we look to improve further. Similarly, keeping numbers low the first time out feels like a sensible approach that will allow us to gauge reception and demand, and make any adjustments more easily.
Is it a subscription? Can I sign up for it?
ShortBox is not a subscription service- there's no signing up. It's a quarterly box which will go up for sale in the 'normal' fashion. We have a Twitter account here, which will provide ongoing sneak peeks, information, and a link to the sale listing once it goes live. The sale listing will detail titles, authors, interior snippets, and photographs of the box contents. The first box will be available for sale on May 16th- keep an eye on this page. We'll look into offering a pre-order period once the second box rolls around.
What's inside the box?
Each box will contain 5 comics, at least one extra item, and some sweets! The first box, for example, will contain 5 comics ranging from 20 to 60 pages in length, a sticker sheet, an exclusive, limited edition A4 print, and a yearbook-style contributors credit sheet. One of these books is rather special in that it was created especially for the box, which means that these are the only copies of it in the *world.* Another title we're bringing you is an advance copy of a book that will go on wider release in late June, -the ShortBox edition has its very own special cover. Books that may have gone under the radar that we feel deserves wider attention. We're honestly stoked for everything that's in here.
Is it a blind box?
No. We've worked very hard to put the box together and are champing at the bit to share it all with you. Everything that's inside the box will be photographed and detailed on the sale listing.
Is the box themed?
The theme is quality! The box is not themed. We have lots of ideas, including the possibility of doing themed mini-boxes in between the quarterly ones -a bundle of say 3 horror or romance comics, or 3 comics from India-, but one step at a time.
Where do you ship to?
The first box will ship to the UK, Europe, Canada, and North America. Our aim is to work on worldwide shipping in time for the release of box 2 as we'd really like the comics to reach as many people as possible.